Uruguay will begin selling marijuana in pharmacies this summer, the final stage in the country’s pioneering regulation and normalization of marijuana. The South American country will be the first in the world to legally sell cannabis over the counter for recreational use. In fact, their president was even nominated for a Nobel Prize after the country legalized cannabis.
Uruguay voted to legalize marijuana in 2013. They were the first country in the world to do so. Instantly there were reports that grams of marijuana would sell for as low as one dollar in Uruguay, and that sales would occur very quickly. Time has shown that launching legal sales in Uruguay has taken longer than expected, and has been discussing these sales for quite a while now.
BBC news reports:
“Cannabis will be dispensed in pharmacies starting in the month of July,” presidential aide Juan Andres Roballo told a press conference.
The law requires buyers to sign up to a national registry, which Mr Roballo said would be up and running by 2 May. The price will be US$1.30 (£1) per gram.
Registrants – who must be Uruguayan citizens or permanent residents – can purchase up to a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) per month. The marijuana sold will come from state-supervised fields.
The law also allows users to grow their own at home, or join cooperative clubs that farm it.
Many pharmacists have doubted the financial benefits of selling a cost-controlled product.
Some Uruguayan buyers were also reluctant to sign up to a national registry, complaining of the invasion of their privacy and of having to keep to the monthly limits.
The government has now done a deal with 16 pharmacies, but it hopes to sign up more.
Mr Roballo said there would be a public health campaign before the registry was opened.